A couple of weeks ago I went over Vail Pass, elevation approximately 10,000 feet, and my ears popped on the way up and again on the way down, but not all the way–at least, my left ear didn’t pop all the way. So I’ve been suffering.
I have done the usual altitude-related things–yawning, swallowing.
I have tried drops to dissolve ear wax, which didn’t work but produced interesting popping sounds.
And I have tried some of the wackiest things I ever heard of (not that I’d heard of them before, but go around bitching about a stuffed-up ear and you hear some odd things). For instance, one remedy, supposedly offered by a friend of a friend of an airline stewardess, was to get a paper Dixie cup–very important that it was paper–hold it over the ear, and then suck on a peppermint candy.
That didn’t work.
Somebody else swore by ear candles, which I had never heard of. Well, I don’t know how I could have missed these things, in the ear section of your local health-food store. They are cones about 11 inches long–like a really long, skinny ice-cream cone impregnated with wax. What you are supposed to do is light it and stick it in your ear.
The ones I got came with NO instructions, but the woman who sold them said, “Oh, just sit down, light it, and stick it in your ear . . . I generally let it burn half way down, then blow it out and then start it again.”
I found this prospect very alarming. OTOH, the ear is driving me crazy. So I poured myself a gin & tonic, draped a towel over my shoulder, and tried it.
Well, it doesn’t actually hurt. First I heard the ocean, but I heard that when I tried the Dixie cup thing too so no big deal. Then of course I heard the forest fire in my ear, and that was kind of interesting. After about 10 minutes I blew the thing out in utter disgust and asked my husband to google “ear candles” because I was doing it wrong.
This is what he found.
The moral: always ask Uncle Cecil first.
Although, oddly enough, my ear feels better. But I’m thinking it was the G&T.